US Supreme Court to Consider Affirmative Action Case
Yesterday, the US Supreme Court indicated that it would hear a case, Fisher v. University of Texas, involving affirmative action at the University of Texas at Austin. The case, brought by Abagail Fisher, a Caucasian student claiming to have been denied admissions on account of her race, could "eliminate diversity as a rationale sufficient to justify any use of race in admission decisions," according to the New York Times.
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit previously ruled in favor of the University of Texas, indicating that the university had not violated the civil or constitutional rights of the plaintiffs. In 2003 freeline skates, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in Grutter v. Bollinger to prohibit public colleges and universities from using a points system in admissions decisions to increase minority admissions but that the schools could account for race in other ways to promote diversity.
Justice Elena Kagan, having worked on the case during her term as solicitor general, has disqualified herself from hearing the case.
Media Resources: Associated Press 2/22/12; New York Times 2/21/12
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .